A True Montana Knows The Answer To This. Please Help The Rest
I have heard this a million times. Ok maybe not a million, but it sure does feel like it. Coming from North Dakota this animal is not foreign to me AT ALL. In fact, I grew up a couple of miles from a farm that raised them, so I basically drove past them every day.
Some will argue that they are the same thing. When in fact they ARE NOT the same, hence the reason for two names. The great debate...Buffalo Vs. Bison. Are they the same? NO.
Some are going to read this and think, "DUH, is this girl dumb?". The answer is no, I just have heard people use the wrong term so frequently I don't want to lose my mind. And with people coming to visit sooner than later, at least they can use the correct term after reading this.
Let's get this rolling.
BISON: a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox native to North America and Europe.
You can see here the LARGE HUMP on the shoulders of this bison. Also, the head is much bigger when compared to a buffalo. You can see this guy's fabulous beard and his heavy coat. You will notice this spring/summer, bison will be shedding that beautiful coat.
Bison are what you can find here in Montana and the surrounding states according to the FWP. Why? Because they originate from North America and Europe
BUFFALO: any of several wild bovids, such as Cape and Water Buffalo.
Buffalos do not have the hump on their shoulders and their horns are quite different. The horns of a buffalo can actually get up to 6 feet. You can see here that a buffalo doesn't have a beard like a bison.
They are like your friend that thinks they can grow a beard but can't. Yeah, that's a buffalo.
Buffalo actually originates from Africa and Asia. Commonly called a water buffalo or a cape buffalo. Yes, buffalo and bison come from the same "family" but AS YOU CAN SEE, are very much different.
Now even the internet has some issues defining the difference between the two. Clearly, this is a BISON...NOT A BUFFALO.
So now that we are educated, please be aware of the BISON at Yellowstone National Park, they are strong, big, and can toss you like a football.
CC: Google definitions, Meriam-Webster, FWP